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Lee County may push Crist for aid

Commission to mull a resolution Tuesday

Feb. 26, 2010


Plug in: Learn more about Chinese drywall affecting area homes

1:10 A.M. — The Lee County commission will consider Tuesday whether to pass a resolution calling for Gov. Charlie Crist to make a disaster declaration on defective drywall.

If passed, the county would join a host of other government groups, including the Broward, St. Lucie and Palm Beach county commissions as well as the cities of Parkland, Punta Gorda and Cape Coral in calling for the declaration.

Drywall victims want the declaration because it would allow Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to be released to help them with relocation from and repair of their tainted homes.

Crist was first petitioned last April by former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, to make the declaration and the tally of requests has grown since from individual federal and state politicians, as well as families.

Crist has not responded, but in one recent instance his office referred a resident who sent a letter asking for the declaration to U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fort Lauderdale.

Richard Kampf, the Cape Coral resident who heads a grass-roots organization of about 350 homeowners with defective drywall, asked the commission to consider the resolution.

He previously pressed Cape Coral to adopt a similar resolution, which the council passed this month.

Under the Stafford Act, Crist would have to go to President Barack Obama with the request for assistance through a declaration of an emergency or major disaster.

Florida law gives the governor power to declare an emergency through executive order.

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